Observation on Relativity

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This is a simple posting to raise some awareness (and recognition) of those of us who are already living day to day. Sometimes the expectations raised here are overwhelming. This past summer I had the luxury of a bit of time -- I was able to lurk and learn here happily. Those days are over. I now work at two jobs, I'm going to school, and I'm the overseer of two birds, two mice, one cat, three very unruly big dogs, and one reasonably manageable thirteen year old daughter. Oh, and there's a really nice man in the picture too. Actually, he's been there for years, God bless him. WHAT'S MY POINT? Oh, so glad you asked. It's the relativity thing. This past summer, I was very heavily into learning as much as I could -- I had the time to do it. I prepped, I shared my knowledge, I WAS DEFINITELY INTO IT. Now, things are different. I have major bills to pay NOW, I have job commitments demanding my attention NOW, I have family obligations (Mom, how do tampons work?) NOW. I'm treading water, and I'm writing this because I don't think I'm the only one. I'm caught between the vision of what may happen tomorrow, and the reality of what I face today. Yes, I already know that if I've prepared I should simply go on with life. I'm stressed about it all though and I don't think I'm alone in these feelings. Ultimately, I'm OK with anything that may come my way - I've already experienced war, deprivation, personal humiliation and truly unspeakable matters. HOWEVER, there are those here who are innocent. Do they need to be informed? Well of course they do. Monsiegnor's Stan's daily postings are wonderfully effective and address the ultimate goal of informing. I know of several who have benefitted from his daily posting and I thank him for his dedication. But for the many of the other whom you persist in labeling as DGI's, well, I know many of them and I simply cannot find fault with most of them. I now know the difference between the luxury of time, and the lack of it. Aloha always - gngrl

-- grngrl (jhandt@gte.net), November 07, 1999


I'm not so sure, grngrl. I think we're talking more about priorities here than relativity. The Hungarian is an RN, has lots of animals to take care of, volunteers for a couple of organizations (one of which requires her to put in several hours a week), takes care of the cleaning and maintenance of an older, 3-bedroom house, and does her own yard work. She doesn't have a whole lot of free time either--and she has one or two health problems to deal with.

I truly believe if you REALLY want to do something, you'll find a way to do it. Actually, I know I had more free time when I was working out of the house than I do now I'm working part-time from home. All my friends say the same thing. Or perhaps we were just forced to be more organized when we were working full-time away from home.

-- Old Git (anon@spamproblems.com), November 07, 1999.

I would never have had the ability to prepare if it were not that I started in April 1998. A few cans here, a few candles there, some beans here and some rice there, a gas stove here, a solar radio there, a cord of wood here (that I cut and split myself) and a few extra blankets there.

There is no way I could have done in a week or two or a month even if I had not started early.

Someone was kind enough to give me an early heads up. But there are millions who have been and are so busy making it day to day that weren't given the appropriate warning.

This is the potentially criminal deal with leadership here in the U.S. and around the world and to a very large extent the press. They didn't care to warn folks.

You pollys who are laughing, think about this. The Florida east coast has been evacuated twice the past couple of years and neither hurricane hit Florida. But the appropriate warnings and actions of the government were taken to protect life and property. And the media had a field day.

-- the Virginian (1@1.com), November 07, 1999.

I had to stop the ever-narrowing of choices presented to me by the dominant culture I was born into. Had to stop it. Years before Y2K was a glimmer in my eye (and that was April 1998) I saw this, and began little by little to take appropriate steps to have a kind of life that made sense to me....this meant doing a lot of the voluntary simplicity stuff, few if any new toys, no new vehicles...work that had value, and was not just about a paycheck.

It is very possible to step off the merry-go-round. It is not easy. Time is all I have. I take time. I make choices. I took a full time "real person" (LOL) job just recently which I will quit in mid-December because I wanted some extra cash. Choice, choice, choice.

Time, every breath I take, and those people I love are what matter to me. I am changed from the person I was in my 20s and 30s; I will never be her again, and that, for me, is good.

"Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow, creeps in its petty pace from day to day, to the last syllable of recorded time,..."

--She in the Sheet, watching the tiger swallowtails,...

-- Donna (moment@pacbell.net), November 07, 1999.

Donna: I am right there w/you on that one. I started living in voluntary simplicity long before I heard of Y2K. I realized I felt so incredibly unfulfilled in my job--my life, despite being the mother of a beautiful 4 yr old daughter, felt lacking in meaning. I was once a high school English teacher at a TERRIBLE school with a terrible principal and quit, vowing to never step foot in the classroom again. Well this August a teaching job literally fell in my lap--great school, great administration, everything I wanted in a teaching job to begin with. I have NEVER been happier. I feel like I am really making a difference with my life, not just pushing paper. I teach 8th grade Reading and as far as I am concerned, have the best job in the whole world. I spend my days with the future. And teaching allows me more time with my daughter, incl longer Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays and summer (who has 16 wks off a year w/ a corporate job?) I am so thankful. It *is* a matter of priorities. It is extremely important to me that my family be prepared for Y2K.

-- preparing (preparing@home.com), November 07, 1999.

grngrl, regardless, Y2K plays no favorites, gives no special breaks. If you can truly tell your daughter that you knew what was coming, but had too many other things to tend to, that is your choice. Nobody but you can decide.

-- King of Spain (madrid@aol.cum), November 07, 1999.

I'm so happy to read of your life's movements, Grngrl. You know, what do you do? We're all going to die. We are all dying this very minute. How will we spend our dying moments, one, a few, or several billion? I prefer to Live, to embrace Life. Now, fourteen months ago or so, embracing Life meant scouring the web each day for Y2K news and info and making preparations for myself and those close to me. In a very essential way it also meant walking headfirst into a full-on panic about TEOTWAWKI and everything that would imply. This embrace of life through the embracing of psychological chaos has been perhaps my most important preparation. The cans of condensed milk and bags of rice, yeah, I'm happy I'm sitting on them, but the freakout I made myself sit still through was the real prep.

And know what? I don't think about it much anymore. So what if I find i have to beat my clothes against the sidewalk to clean them, or stand in line because boys with guns took my stuff? The truly important thing is that I really have prepared myself; I've opened up to the possibilities we actually do face (albeit in differing probabilities) every day of disaster and of sudden loss. What is my business today? Today it is to do my life in the best and most responsible way I can. For me, to be inclusive rather than exclusive, to welcome chaos up front. And maybe if I'm lucky Chaos won't feel like rape when it finally does come.

-- Mark Clark (mark.clark@mindspring.com), November 07, 1999.

Yes, Mark! "And know what? I don't think about it much anymore"....

This and the rest of your post. A woman I admire who has done a lot of personal life work,...written some books was once asked by a student rather naively to give a 25 word answer to: What is the meaning of life...the questioner said she could go over the 25 word limit,...use a sheet of paper to respond. She sent a postcard back....with this: "The meaning of life: Live."

Breathe Lovelies! We forget to do that sometimes...

-- Donna (moment@pacbell.net), November 07, 1999.

oh shoot,....preparing...YOU too! Nice to find another like-minded soul like you here....an aside: I started working in the last month at a group home with teenage girls "in the system",...juvenile justice or family court referred. I worked with at risk populations for about 6 years and had to stop as many years ago to look after me....thought I could pop back in now. I'm not sure it will work...but I've tried. I'm going to give it another month, and if my sleep problems don't ease up, I'll go back to playing piano for my supper. There are worse things.

Be well, Prepared!

-- Donna (moment@pacbell.net), November 07, 1999.

Time Management:

One day an expert in time management was speaking to a group of business students and, to drive home a point, used an illustration those students will never forget.

As he stood in front of the group of high powered overachievers he said, "Okay, time for a quiz." Then he pulled out a one gallon, wide mouthed Mason jar and set it on the table in front of him. Then he produced about a dozen fist sized rocks and carefully placed them, one at a time, into the jar. When the jar was filled to the top and no more rocks would fit inside, he asked, "Is this jar full?"

Everyone in the class said, "Yes."

Then he said, "Really?" He reached under the table and pulled out a bucket of gravel. Then he dumped some gravel in and shook the jar causing pieces of gravel to work themselves down into the space between the big rocks. Then he asked the group once more, "Is the jar full?"

By this time the class was on to him. "Probably not," one of them answered.

"Good!" he replied He reached under the table and brought out a bucket of sand. He started dumping the sand in the jar and it went into all of the spaces left between the rocks and the gravel. Once more he asked the question, "Is this jar full?"

"No!" the class shouted.

Once again he said, "Good." Then he grabbed a pitcher of water and began to pour it in until the jar was filled to the brim. Then he looked at the class and asked, "What is the point of this illustration?"

One eager beaver raised his hand and said, "The point is, no matter how full your schedule is, if you try really hard you can always fit some more things in it!"

"No," the speaker replied, "that's not the point. The truth this illustration teaches us is: If you don't put the big rocks in first, you'll never get them in at all." What are the 'big rocks' in your life? Your children....Your loved ones...Your education.... Your dreams....A worthy cause ...Teaching or mentoring others.....Doing things that you love....Time for yourself.....Your health....Your significant other. Remember to put these BIG ROCKS in first or you'll never get them in at all. If you sweat the little stuff (the gravel, the sand) then you'll fill your life with little things you worry about that don't really matter, and you'll never have the real quality time you need to spend on the big, important stuff (the big rocks). So, tonight, or in the morning, when you are reflecting on this short story, ask yourself this question:

What are the 'big rocks' in my life? Then, put those in your jar first.

November is a time when we pause and give thanks... include your big rocks in your list.

-- (dawjones@yahoo.com), November 08, 1999.

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